John Dennis

Faith West project draws support and concern

May 8, 2012

A more than $11-million project in West Lafayette is moving forward, but not without some opposition.

The city council agreed to issue $7-million in bonds for Faith Church to build a community center along Northwestern Avenue.

The measure passed with a six to one vote.  Councilor Peter Bunder opposed. He says the move crosses the line of separation between church and government.

However, mayor John Dennis this is a way for the city to support the project and overall community development.

Faith Church could secure funding for WL project

May 7, 2012

West Lafayette’s city council is considering a move to help launch a proposed mixed-use project.

Members will vote Monday, May 7, on issuing $7 million in bonds for Faith Church.

The non-profit wants to build a 94,000 square foot community center along Northwestern Avenue.

If the city sells the bonds, Faith will receive a lower interest rate because it’s through a government agency. But, it comes at no financial risk to West Lafayette, according to Mayor John Dennis.

Millions of dollars in income tax revenue has been withheld from counties because of another programming error at the state Department of Revenue.  As a result, the head of the Department of Revenue is stepping down.

Roughly $206 million of Local Option Income Tax funds were supposed to be distributed to Indiana counties since January of 2011, but were incorrectly stored in the state’s General Fund.  That comes after the state announced only four months ago more than $300 million in corporate tax revenue was mistakenly withheld from the General Fund.

West Lafayette officials are supporting two major developments planned for the city.

Council members approved rezoning requests for a residential building at Grant and Harrison streets and a new Faith Ministries project on Northwestern Avenue.

Plans for the “Faith West” complex include a recreation and worship area, a fitness center, and space for retail and food service.

Mayor John Dennis says the development will benefit the community in many ways.

Progress is being made on a new fire station in West Lafayette, which will become the permanent station number three.

The temporary third fire station currently operates out of a remodeled parks building at Cumberland Park. Mayor John Dennis says this fire station will stand out from others in the city.

WL moving forward with fiber optic network

Feb 22, 2012

The city of West Lafayette is moving forward with plans for a fiber optic network.

However the details of the project have changed.

Initially Metronet officials asked the city to partner with Lafayette and Tippecanoe County to create a tax increment financing district that would enable the company to secure a bond for startup costs.

The Lafayette Redevelopment Commission would have been the lead agency.

But the West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission voted today to establish its own TIF district so it would have more direct input in the process.

WL's online effort to get a boost

Jan 23, 2012

West Lafayette is close to filling its new Information Technology Director position.

Mayor John Dennis says the job was created to identify and improve some of the city’s technological deficiencies. He says it's taken three years to coordinate what needs to be done and move to writing a job description for someone who can achieve the city's goals.

The position includes overseeing technology with emergency services, utilities, and the website outreach programs.

WL names new fire chief

Jan 18, 2012

West Lafayette's next fire chief will have an insider's knowledge of the department.

Mayor John Dennis promoted Timothy Heath to the position. Heath has been with the city since 1990, and served as a sergeant and lieutenant.

Dennis says he chose Heath from an internal pool of applicants, because of his training and certifications, which include leadership and command courses.

He takes over for Phil Drew, who served as chief for eight years and stepped down last month at the request of the mayor.

New fire chief among changes coming to WL

Dec 19, 2011

The city of West Lafayette will soon have a new fire chief.

Phil Drew will step down at the end of the year at the request of the mayor.  Mayor John Dennis says the department needs new leadership to keep up with changes in the field.

The mayor plans to hire a new chief from within the current ranks.  Until then, Assistant Chief Jeff Holder will serve as interim chief.

The seven members of the West Lafayette City Council took the oath of office Monday night.

All members are returning to their seats after winning re-election last month.

President Ann Hunt says one area of focus over the next year will be keeping the city’s water clean.

She also says a major challenge is keeping health care costs low and maintaining city services while keeping the budget steady or reduced.

Clerk-Treasurer Judy Rhodes and Mayor John Dennis also took their oaths of office.

It’s the second term for Dennis.